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Kites
WINGS

Besides the camera the most important piece of equipment is obviously the kite which needs to be as stable as possible. It should be a tripod in the sky but it very rarely is the case !

Since one kite does not fit all winds I use 4 different kites but I have tried and …crashed quite a few before selecting the ones I use today.

 
Some kites I tried and that are now retired in my garage:

The Rokkaku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A favourite kite among KAPer’s.

Renown for its stability and reliability; For some odd reasons I always managed to crash mine in a tree or in the lagoon!

The Maxi Dopero

mdopero

A giant beauty that I probably flew too early in my learning curve of kite flying. May be I should give it a try now!

 
Some Kites I sometimes fly to KAP

The KAPilot

The KAPilot 50 is a modification of the Pilot 50 designed by Peter Lynn to act as "sky anchors" for his famous large inflatables.

Brooks Leffler was the first to use this kite for KAP. His observations indicate that the KAPilot 50 flies at a slightly higher angle than a Flow Form. He also comments; "It will lift a rig at about 5 mph, but might lift you at 20 mph.

This soft kite is the size of a king size bed, pulls like a truck and can be very scary.

 

 

 

 

The Flow Forms

Flow Forms (FF) are very popular among KAPERs. They have no spars and require no assembly before flying. A Flow Form can literally be in the air seconds after choosing a kite launch location. The Flow Form rolls up into a small bag that takes up little space in my field kit. The Flow Form has the simplest bridle of all the soft kites, with only 3 lines. One drawback of the FF is its low flying angle compared to the Dopero and the Deltas

The Flow Form 8A very small Flow Form for strong winds. I don’t find it very stable

The Flow Form 16My first KAP kite, very reliable in moderate to strong breeze, a low flying angle and a rather strong pull, I always carry mine in my back sac just in case.

The Flow Form 30 : Twice the size of the FF16, the FF 30 is adapted to soft breeze, as reliable as the FF16, its pull can become extremely strong if the wind strengthens.

 
The Kite I use today

The Delta

Simon Harbord a well known KAPer from Scotland introduced me to the joy of flying Deltas. Up until I flew a Delta, the kite was for me just a way to lift my camera but a rather boring one. The Delta brought to my type of KAP some poetry and incredible satisfaction of flying a very sensitive “bird”.

Delta R8 Cruiser by Dan Leigh

Dan & Bev Leigh have been building Kites in England for 35 years, all are individually hand made to order and signed. Each one of their creation is a piece of art and engineering.

This large kite (3 meters) will fly in moderate to fresh breeze ( up to 15knots) with a high angle and an incredible stability.

Dan just recently designed for me a “travel version” of the R8 that folds in a 50 cm tube.

Delta Trooper By Dan Leigh

A bit smaller this Delta is adapted to stronger breeze up to 25 knots

Paul’s Kite Fishing Nighthawk

The Nighthawk is a very popular general purpose fishing kite used in New Zealand. Very well build and resistant, this is the ideal delta for winds up to 40 knots.

Paul’s Kite Fishing Super Delta

A deltawing kite capable of handling gale force winds. I flew mine in 45 knots in the Canadian arctic and got some great results.

Fled

Developed by Michael Andersen and Brooks LefflerThe Fled is a cross between the light-wind Flare and the traditional Sled. It's a stable, strong, light-wind kite that flies at a line angle of 65 - 70 degrees, just about perfect for KAP.

The Fled develops impressive lift; it will easily lift a camera rig of one pound in 5 knots wind, making it ideal for AUTO KAP.